The Hyundai Tucson is a compact crossover that is built on the same Elantra-based platform as the Kia Sportage. Though not a dynamic standout in any particular area, the Tucson still makes a strong case for itself thanks to its generous cargo space, high level of standard content and strong overall value.
The latest Tucson is longer than its predecessor by about 3.3 inches, but weighs in at 3,203 lbs - 61 lbs less than the outgoing model. The extra length helps inside, as the Tucson now boasts 25.7 cubic feet of cargo space.
The Tucson also features significantly more agile handling, responsive steering and improved body roll control than its predecessor. Enhancements such as the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems provide more precise wheel control and a smoother ride and make the new Tucson more fun-to-drive.
To further aid in improved handling manners, stabilizer bar diameters have also increased with the front suspension growing to a 25 mm hollow stabilizer bar, yet saving weight versus the predecessors 21 mm solid stabilizer bar. The rear suspension has a new 18 mm solid stabilizer bar versus the predecessors 14 mm stabilizer bar. These larger stabilizer bars help to keep the vehicle flat during cornering and help provide quicker turn-in response.
Entry-level Tuscon models power their front wheels with a 2.0-liter inline-four that produces 165 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a standard five-speed manual transmission the Tuscon returns 20 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, while an optional six-speed automatic increases those figures to 22/29 city/highway mpg.
Uplevel Tucsons are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder Theta engine that cranks out 176 horsepower -- more than the outgoing model's optional V6 -- along with 168 lb-ft of twist. Fuel economy for the 2.4-liter is rated at 21/30 mpg, while adding an all-wheel-drive system lowers mileage to 20/27 mpg.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Tucson is offered in three trim levels - GL, GLS and Limited.
The entry-level trim comes standard with A/C, power windows and locks, a 160-watt audio system with six speakers and iPod/USB jacks and 17-inch steel wheels with hubcaps.
Stepping up to the GLS will earn you leatherette seats with cloth inserts, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated front seats, Bluetooth connectivity with steering-wheel mounted controls and 17-inch alloy wheels. Newly standard for the latest model year are fog lights and automatic headlight control.
The top-dog Limited trim adds leather upholstery, heated front seats for AWD and FWD models, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key with push button start and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Those looking to up the luxury ante can opt for the Premium Package, which brings a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, a rearview camera and a premium audio system.
All Tucson models come standard with dual front, front side and side curtain airbags along with traction and stability control systems and active front head restrains.
There are numerous compact crossover rivals to the Tucson, including the Subaru Forester, the Toyota RAV4, the Ford Escape, the Mazda CX-5 and the Nissan Rogue.